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Playlab was formed in 1972 to help support playwrights in new work development. It began to publish plays in 1978.
The organisation continues to support the development process, and has also become a leading theatrical publisher. Playlab seeks to identify, nurture and support playwrights through development initiatives (structure, critical feedback and investment), skill-building programs, and professional productions. Their publication of Australian playwrights makes work available the local and national producers.
Playlab's development programs include Incubator (which nurtures artists for the first three years of their practice), Alpha Processing (an intensive playwright development program), and Beta Testing (fine-tuning an existing script).
In 2017, Playlab introduced their new-writing theatre, designed to work ideas through development, onto stage, and into publication. Their first production was Blue Bones by Merlynn Tong. They also welcomed their first Playwright-in-Residence, Kathryn Marquet , who developed a work called The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek, and a Young Playwright-in-Residence, Hannah Belansky, who developed A Cup of Tea under Marquet's mentorship.
As at 2017, Ian Lawson is the Artistic Director and CEO.
for evolving into Queensland’s new-writing theatre company with their inaugural production of Blue Bones, positioning them nationally as the only company to take work from idea through development, on stage and into publication.